This past week we saw the birth of a grassroots call for a Presidential Debate on Science and Technology Policy pop up on the web called Science Debate 2008.
The effort began with "the support of almost sixty eminent scientists (including 11 Nobel laureates), business leaders, journalists and editors (including the editors in chief of both Science and Scientific American), politicians (including several members of Congress and two former Science Advisers to the President), the president of Princeton, and several presidents of large science organizations." and you can support the call by singing the petition and giving the petetion organizers your comments about the idea or questions you like to see dealt with in the debate by clicking here.
The petition which was the brainchild of Chris Mooney who described the evolution of the idea like this (from: Call for a Presidential Science Debate):
Let’s begin with some background: Nearly a month ago, I linked up with Matthew Chapman, the author, screenwriter, and great grandson of Charles Darwin. Chapman, I already knew, had a great idea that I wanted to write about in my forthcoming Seed column: A call for a debate among the current crop of presidential candidates solely devoted to issues in science and technology.
One thing led to another, and before long–along with many others, including Sheril (whose contribution has been invaluable) and Physics of Star Trek author Lawrence Krauss– I was helping Chapman organize a push to make this happen. First we got together a distinguished list of scientific luminaries, and later, we assembled a complementary blogger coalition, all in support of the following statement:
Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we, the undersigned, call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Medicine and Health, and Science and Technology Policy.
Sheril Kirshenbaum is a marine biologist at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and blogs with Chris Mooney over on ScienceBlogs.com in The Intersection blog. Lawrence M. Krauss (wikipedia) is Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and former Chair of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University and just the other day wrote this Op-Ed for the WSJ: Science and the Candidates ] and along with Chris Mooney wrote this Op-Ed for the LA Times: Make science part of the debate.
What the organizers are so far hoping to see discussed in The Debate are topics such as:
- Climate Change
- Conservation and Species Loss
- The Future of The Oceans
- Fresh Water: Drought, Pollution, Ownership
- Population Growth and Its Effect on Environment
- Renewable Energy Research
Health and Medicine
- Global Diseases and Pandemics
- Stem Cell Research
- Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
- Drug Patents, Generic Drugs
- The Genome
Science and Technology Policy
- Scientific Innovation and Economic Growth
- Improving Science Education
- Space Exploration
- Preserving Scientific Integrity in Government
- Energy Policy
So again you can support the call by singing the petition and giving the petetion organizers your comments about the idea or questions you like to see dealt with in the debate by clicking here.